Bruce Christensen

Department of Pathobiological Sciences
Office: 331

Bruce Christensen

Titles and Education

  1. B.S. University of Wisconsin - River Falls, 1970

  2. Ph.D. Iowa State University, 1977


Research Areas:
Parasitology/Medical Entomology
Mosquito-Parasite Relationships
Innate Immunity in Mosquitoes

Research Description:

Parasitology/Medical Entomology, Mosquito-Parasite Interactions and Pathogenesis, Mosquito Innate Immunity, Epidemiology of Mosquito-borne Diseases.  Mosquito-borne diseases, including malaria, lymphatic filariasis and numerous arboviruses cause morbidity and mortality in hundreds of millions of people throughout the tropical and subtropical regions of the world. In order to best utilize existing control methodology or to develop new approaches to mosquito-borne disease control, it is important that we gain a better understanding of those factors that influence vector competence and vectorial capacity of mosquitoes involved in pathogen transmission. My present research efforts involve collaborative programs with scientists at the University of Miami, Virginia Tech, University of Missouri, Iowa State University and with foreign scientists working in Taiwan, Egypt, Mali, Colombia, and Papua New Guinea. Of special interest are studies seeking to clarify (1) the specific role select species of Anopheles play in the transmission of the filarial worm Wuchereria bancrofti, (2) the influence of irrigation on mosquito-borne diseases in arid regions of North Africa and the Middle East, and (3) the ecology of dengue virus in Colombia.



I am responsible for teaching the campus Parasitology 350 coure to undergraduates that is a cross-listed course between the Departments of Pathobiological Sciences, Medicial Microbiology and Immunology, and Zoology.  This course enrolls ~170-200 students every Spring Semester.  I also direct the multi-user insectary facility that maintaings mosquitoes for experimental purposes.  My primary responsibility is research in the area of tropical mosquito-borne diseases with emphasis on projects in developing countries.

Graduate Training

Master of Science students trained - 17
Doctor of Philosophy students trained - 15
Postdoctoral Fellows trained - 16

Recent Publications

  1. Choi, Y.J., E. Ghedin, M. Berriman, J. McQuillan, G.F. Mayhew, B. M. Christensen and M.L. Michalski.  2011.  A deep sequencing approach to comparatively analyze the transcriptome of lifecycle stages of the filarial worm, Brugia malayi.  PLoS NTD 5(12):e1409.
  2. Liu, P., X. Ge, H. Ding, H. Jiang, B.M. Christensen and J. Li.  2012.  Role of glutamate decarboxylase-like protein 1 (GADL1) in taurine biosynthesis.  Journal of Biological Chemistry 287: 40898-40906.
  3. Han, Q., H. Robinson, H. Ding, B.M. Christensen and J. Li.  2012.  Evolution of insect arylalkylamine N-acetyltransferases, structural evidence from the yellow fever mosquito, Aedes aegypti.  Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 109: 11669-11674.
  4. Choi, Y.J., J.F. Fuchs, G.F. Mayhew, H.E. Yu and B.M. Christensen.  2012.  Tissue-enriched expression profiles in Aedes aegypti identify hemocyte-specific transcriptome responses to infection.  Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology 42: 729-738.
  5. Liu, P., M.P. Torrens-Spence, H. Ding, B.M. Christensen and J. Li.  2012.  Mechanism of cysteine-dependent inactivation of aspartate/glutamate/cysteine sulfinic acid α-decarboxylases.  Amino Acids 44: 391-4044.